NRL Round 21 Previews and Tips

NRL Round 21 Previews and Betting Tips



Roosters v Broncos

Thu 28 July, 7:50PM, Allianz Stadium


The Brisbane Broncos will travel to the New South Wales capital to play the Sydney Roosters this Thursday night after the 2015 grand finalists produced a very disappointing performance last week against the Panthers. Though they started the year as premiership favourites and backed that up with scintillating form over the first few months of the season, the Origin period has seen Brisbane seemingly lose their midas touch as they continue to search for the form that propelled them to the 2015 grand final.

The Roosters will welcome back Dale Copley with Chris Smith also joining an extended bench, while the Broncos will be without representative forwards Sam Thaiday and Josh McGuire as Herman Ese’ese and Jaydn Su’a come into the side. Despite being named on Tuesday, Queensland and Australian backrower Matt Gillett will not take the field after failing to fully recover from a shoulder injury.

This will be the first match up between the Roosters and the Broncos since the finals last year, in which the Sydney club were embarrassed by their northern rivals. Despite their lowly position on the ladder, the Roosters have been competing quite well in the face of injury but it remains to be seen what Brisbane outfit they will face. If the Broncos manage to get back to their form at the start of the season, they could win the match at a canter, but that seems unlikely in the absence of McGuire, Gillett and Thaiday. Expect Brisbane to get the points against a highly motivated Roosters outfit.

Betting Tip: Broncos -1.0 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)



Bulldogs v Dragons

Fri 29 July, 7:50PM, ANZ Stadium


The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs will play the St George Illawarra Dragons this Friday night after the Bulldogs produced a woeful performance against the Cowboys last week that had fans and critics alike questioning their finals potential. Their opposition in the Dragons were equally poor against the Tigers with the Illawarra club nearing desperation as they look to be losing touch with the top eight.

The Bulldogs will welcome back Lloyd Perrett and Tyrone Phillips on an extended bench in an otherwise unchanged side, while the Dragons will welcome back jacob host and Will Matthews to cover for the suspended Leeson Ah Mau.

While the Bulldogs were poor last week, they will be up against a Dragons outfit who stuggle to produce results in their attack. Under coach Des Hasler’s supervision the ‘Dogs should rebound from their poor loss last week against a struggling dragons to get the points.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 39.5 @ $1.90 (Unibet)



Warriors v Panthers

Sat 30 July, 3:00PM, Mt Smart Stadium


The New Zealand Warriors will play the Penrith Panthers this Saturday afternoon with the Panthers producing a wonderful performance against a struggling Broncos outfit which elevated the Penrith club to outright 8th on the NRL ladder. The form surge of the Warriors looks to have been halted after consecutive losses against the Sea Eagles and Raiders respectively as the Kiwi club faces tough competition to make the top eight.

Both teams have elected to go into the match with unchanged squads, although Panthers coach Anthony Griffin has included potential debutants Andy Saunders and Viliame Kikau on an extended bench.

In the latter part of the season, both clubs find themselves at critical stages in their campaign as the Panthers look to secure their finals position, while the Warriors will be desperate to break into the top eight. A loss certainly wouldn’t rule either club out of finals contention, but good form on the field is extremely important heading into the play-offs. The Warriors will go into this match as favourites and expect the Kiwis to get the win with their home ground advantage.

Betting Tip: Warriors Head to Head @ $1.76 (Crownbet)



Eels v Tigers

Sat 30 July, 5:30PM, ANZ Stadium


The Parramatta Eels will play the Wests Tigers this Saturday evening after the joint venture club backs up from an impressive performance against the Dragons last week after coach Jason Taylor made the controversial decision to drop NSW hooker Robbie Farah to reserve grade.
The Eels will welcome back Beau Scott at lock with Vai Toutai also coming onto the wing in place of Bureta Faraimo. The Tigers have named an unchanged squad for the clash.
The decision to drop Robbie Farah could go one of two ways at a critical point in the Tigers’ season, but after their win against the Dragons last week the young outfit looks to be making the most of their situation. Wests will face an Eels outfit in disarray, backing up from two consecutive losses against the Titans and Panthers respectively and will therefore head into the contest as favourites. The Tigers are in a similar situation to the Warriors, but the lure of finals football should have them hungry for the win. Expect Wests to get the points.

Betting Tip: Tigers -7.5 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)



Cowboys v Storm

Sat 30 July, 7:30PM, 1300Smiles Stadium


The North Queensland Cowboys will host the Melbourne Storm this Saturday night in a massive clash between two in-form heavy weights of the competition. It will be 2nd vs 3rd as the Storm will undoubtedly be looking to run down the Sharks for the competition lead, while the Cowboys will be pushing to secure their top four position in stone.
Cowboys’ captain Jonathan Thurston won’t take the field with a hamstring injury in a massive blow for the Queenslanders as Ray Thompson comes in as cover against an unchanged Storm side.
Losing arguably the best player in the world is a massive blow for the Cowboys as they face a ruthless Storm outfit backing up from a dominant win over the Roosters. Without captain Jonathan Thurston the Cowboys will be at a psychological disadvantage with the Storm undoubtedly hungry for a minor premiership. Expect the Storm to get the points.

Betting Tip: Storm -2.0 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)



Rabbitohs v Raiders

Sun 31 July, 2:00PM, ANZ Stadium


The South Sydney Rabbitohs will take on the Canberra Raiders this Sunday afternoon with the Canberra club in unfamiliar territory after securing a top four berth for the first time in years. They face a Rabbitohs outfit who are set to miss the finals for the first time in four years with the 2014 premiers facing their seventh consecutive win this week.
The Raiders have named an unchanged side for the clash, while the Rabbitohs have named Michael Oldfield at the expense of Joe Burgess with Zane Musgrove pushing David Tyrrell to an extended bench alongside Jack Gosiewski and Damien Cook.
While the Raiders are in the top four, their position is by no means secure as they face competition from both the struggling Broncos and Bulldogs. The Raiders will be looking to consolidate their position on the ladder as they look for their fifth consecutive win. Against a struggling Rabbitohs outfit the Raiders will go into the match as heavy favourites, and expect the Green Machine to get the points.

Betting Tip: Raiders -7.5 @ $1.96 (Pinnacle)


Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles v Knights

Sun 31 July, 4:00PM, Brookvale Oval


The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will play the Newcastle Knights this Sunday evening after the Hunter Valley club were put to the sword last week against the competition leading Sharks. They will face an in-form Manly outfit looking for their fourth consecutive win with a good performance against the Rabbitohs last week.

The Sea Eagles will name an unchanged side from last week, with Addin Fonua-Blake coming onto an extended bench. For the Knights, Pat Mata’utia and Mickey Paea have been pushed to an extended bench as Daniel Saifiti, David Bhana, Jack Cogger and Jake Mamo all come into the side in big changes for the Knights.
Despite a number of additions to their playing squad, the Knights will continue to struggle as they look to rebuild. The Sea Eagles are in a similar situation in that they are unlikely to make the finals, so they now look to finish the year strong and build good disciplinary foundations for the 2017 season.

Betting Tip: Knights +19.5 @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes)



Titans v Sharks

Mon 1 Aug, 7:00PM, Cbus Super Stadium


The Gold Coast Titans will take on the Cronulla Sharks this Monday night with questions marks over the fitness of a number the Queensland club’s players. The Titans will hope to head into this contest with all hands on deck against a full-strength Sharks squad as the Gold Coast team look to consolidate their position in the top eight.
For the Sharks, James Maloney returns in the halves in place of Fa’amanu Brown, while the Titans will welcome back Greg Bird to the starting side with Ryan Simpkins on an extended bench.
The Sharks will go into this match as heavy favourites and will be looking to distance themselves from the second placed Storm who are only one win behind them on the NRL competition ladder and ahead of them in their points-differential. If the Titans can field a full-strength outfit, the form they have been displaying should see them go into the match as confident underdogs, but expect the Sharks to come away with another win.

Betting Tip: Sharks -6.5 @ $2.00 (Pinnacle)


Best Bet

Storm -2.0 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)

Sharks -6.5 @ $2.00 (Pinnacle)


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